Groovy and far out. That sums up the 60s. What a trip. We Boomers were going to take over the world. The answer was blowing in the wind. It was the dawning of the age of Aquarius.
But our time is running out. Boomers like you and me are getting old. A couple of weeks ago the news reported the youngest Boomers just turned 50. I’m 61 which puts me somewhere in the middle of the Baby Boomer pack.
It’s time for the hippest generation to think about our legacy.
I dare you to Google “Baby Boomer legacy.” Warning: if you are over 50 this might ruin your day. A few results applaud the accomplishments of my generation. But most are scathing in their assessment.
Tom Brokaw called the World War 2 generation the “Greatest Generation.” In stark contrast, another writer calls the Boomers the “Luckiest Generation.” Another labels us as the “Me Generation.”
An article titled “7 Reasons Boomers are the Worst Generation” blames the over 50 crowd for the huge national debt, raising a bratty next generation, a crumbling infrastructure, the toppling of the baseball card industry, engaging in pointless military conflicts, selling manufacturing off to China, and a failing Congress.
Conservation are quick to point out that Boomers ushered in a moral revolution: free love, do it your way, and the crumbling of family values.
Not everyone agrees with this dour report. Lenny Steinhorn wrote: “The Greater Legacy: In Defense of the Baby Boomer Legacy.” The reviews on Amazon are mixed but some provide insight to the deep level of anger directed toward Boomers. The simple fact a book sells defending the Boomer legacy is a commentary all by itself.
But there is good news. It is not too late to turn the dubious legacy into a positive one. This is our defining moment. We must act now. Let’s turn this legacy thing around.
“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredible pathetic that it has to be us.” Jerry Garcia
How? The greatest opportunity for my generation is NOW. Why? Many Boomers are leaving the work force. The retirement funds are locked in and invested. It is time for a new challenge. Here’s my plea: let’s use this change point in our lives to change our legacy.
We are about to have more discretionary time than ever before. Instead of spending the next couple of decades growing fatter on the deck of a cruise ship, why not invest in making the world a better place?
Want an example? Did you know you can still join the Peace Corp? That’s right. The Peace Corp is looking for a few good Boomers. Spend two years making a genuine difference in the lives of people around the world.
Is the Peace Corp out of the question? Here’s a few other legacy changing ideas to consider:
- Volunteer at the local hospital.
- Become a foster parent.
- Go on a church sponsored mission trip.
- Teach illiterate adults how to read.
- Sell your car or boat and donate the money to charity.
- Start sending a monthly check to an orphanage in a third world country.
- Study the needs of people on kiva.com and consider making a small loan to a third world entrepreneur.
It’s not too late. One Boomer at a time can begin to change our legacy. What is the one thing you can do to make a difference in your world? Figure it out. Go. Do it. Right now.